During the sixth round of bidding in the FCC's 700 MHz auction, the bidder on the coveted nationwide C Block of spectrum lost their frontrunner status to bidders on each individual piece of the C Block. Bidders can bid on the open access block of spectrum in two ways: As a package that encompasses all 50 states or in eight regional blocks. Up until now the nationwide package had a greater bid than the regional blocks, but in round six that changed. It's possible, now, that multiple C Block winners could emerge. The FCC does not disclose bidders identities until after the auction results are finalized.
After the fifth round of bidding, the FCC's provisional total raised from the auction was $4.3 billion. However, the sixth round of bidding only increased that figure by $95 million.
Each preceding round in the auction brought an increase the regulator's total provisionally winning bids by about $500 million. Each round up until the sixth round saw one new bid on the coveted C Block of spectrum, which was going for more than $2.15 billion. The D Block of spectrum still has one bid for $472 million. Regional licenses in Los Angeles, New York City and Phoenix have also seen a lot of bids in the past few rounds. -Brian
For background on the auction rules, predictions on the outcome and more:
- click here to see the top round six results
- check out our complete auction coverage here